Six Flags Great Adventure was where I would be starting and ending my small, four day coaster vacation. The plan was to take an early flight into Philly, spend the day at Six Flags, drive to Allentown, take in CoasterBuzz Con on Saturday, do Hershey on Sunday, leave the hotel early in the morning on Monday and hit Great Adventure before heading to the airport for a 7:55 flight.
Best laid plans... Well, things started going to hell when my morning flight was cancelled due to inclement weather in Philly. Got moved up to the ten AM flight, which was delayed by a half hour leaving. After circling the airport for a while, waiting for a parking spot for the plane, a slower than average baggage claim, a really slow car rental place, and heavy traffic to the park, I ended up getting to the park around four in the afternoon, after expecting to be there at noon. Not that it mattered, the park was under a heavy downpour all day.
So, I had about four hours to do Great Adventure (I wanted to get as much as I could out of the way, not knowing what Monday might hold) and it was raining cats and dogs. Miraculously, however, every coaster in the park, save Kingda Ka, was open. So, I put on my nice, lined Six Flags windbreaker, and hit the rides.
I managed to ride everything in three hours. The rain had driven everyone away so all the rides were walk-ons. The only two exceptions were Kingda Ka, which was closed due to the rain, and Blackbeard's Lost Treasure, which I completely missed on Friday.
I had a much better day on Monday, arriving at the park when they opened the parking lot and getting into the line to enter the park as the second person, only to find that Kingda Ka had suffered a major breakdown on Sunday and that it was unlikely to open all day. Oh well. No Ka for this trip. I headed off for the next best thing, Nitro, and put in about 6 laps with generous seat poaching, much to the amusement of the ride ops. After six laps, the ops said it was time for me to go and I smiled and thanked them all and did the rest of the park at a leisurly pace for the rest of the day.
I ended up finishing the day doing the animal safari. Most coaster freaks would consider the safari a waste of time, but I consider it one of the highlights of my trip. I was kind of worried about my rental car when an ostrich decided to try and peck out the driver side window on it, though. And who would have thunk that giraffes could run so fast!
Anyways, I will go over the rides and then give my impressions of the park.
My overall impression of the park was way better than I expected. I expected typical Six Flags and was given something well above that. I can't say that it's better than Great America, but then I never would because I am fiercly loyal to the park.
The employees were all very friendly and helpful. The park was clean (then again both days it was practically empty).
The theming was actually pretty good. I especailly liked the new section as well as the frontier sections of the park. I also liked the candy theming on some of the buildings in the park.
Ride operations were okay. While they didnt run maximum trains on Nitro and Medusa, they didnt need to. I really like the fact that the ops do the ride spiels and that nothing is automated. They put life into the spiels and make it their own. Big props to the guy running Medusa because he had everyone in the station really pumped up and laughing and made things really fun.
If I had a complaint, it would be the food prices. While the food for the most part was pretty good, the prices were more than I have paid at most parks. Fifteen bucks for a small sandwich, fries and a small soda just seemed a bit extreme.
I made sure to stop by Guest Relations on the way out and tell them what an awesome job the park did. I filled out a comment form and the person in Guest Relations seemed genuinely happy to get the compliments. Great job Great Adventure!
I rode GASM earlier this season and didn't have to ride defensively but I may start riding Medusa defensively. I also scored the kiddie coaster credit this season, funniest thing was seeing a 6'4" friend of mine squeeze into it.
Maybe our Batman clone should have been painted black again like it was at one time. Yes I say our since GAdv is my home major park even though I only hit it 2 or 3 times a year.
Great TR and glad you enjoyed NJ's Six Flags. *** Edited 5/26/2005 12:01:54 AM UTC by dragonoffrost***
I've ridden only three B:TRs, but I agree with you: the St. Louis version is the best. No idea why.
I'm also looking forward to riding GASM - the last time I rode Shockwave was in 1996, and at the time, my friends and I agreed that would be the last time we'd ride it. Little did we know we'd have no choice in a few more years. Darn it if all that headbashing didn't make me nostalgic.
Now you've got me psyched for Nitro...
Runaway Train beat the snot out of me, I wanted the ride to be over as the bar was crushing my legs, it was just as painful as CCMR at CP.
KK was down that Tuesday, it barely rained that morning and the rest of the day was sunny but the security guard said that if the crosswinds were above a certain speed they couldn't operate, talk about major bummer, first TTD breaks down and then KK not open, 0-2 on tallest and fastest in the world, urghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
It was cool seeing a roller coaster being torn apart as they were tearing down Viper, should have got some pics but ran out of time.
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